Pacific Halibut

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Game Fish Species of British Columbia

Pacific Halibut
Hippoglossus stenolepis

DESCRIPTION - Pacific Halibut are recognized by their elongate, slender, compressed bodies. The mouth is large and has well developed teeth on both sides of the jaws. The pacific halibut is dark brown on its eyed side and irregularly blotched with a lighter white on its blind side. The maximum length of the male is 4 feet 7 inches; the female, 8 feet 9 inches.

DISTRIBUTION - The Pacific Halibut is very abundant along the Pacific shores of Canada and ranges from Southern California to the Bering Sea, occurring from very shallow waters to up to 600 fathoms.

BIOLOGY - Spawning of Pacific Halibut takes place from November to January in depths of 150 to 225 fathoms. A large female of 140 pounds may lay as many as 2,700,000 eggs which will drift into shallower waters where the young fish will settle in bays and inshore banks. The main food consists of fish, crabs, clams, squids and other invertebrates.

RELATION TO MAN - The halibut is one of the most important commercial fishes in British Columbia. Bait includes frozen herring, Pacific cod and octopus. Pacific Halibut livers and viscera are used in the production of vitamin A.

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Pacific Halibut